Clovelly swimmer Mark Horan said despite the cold water on Monday morning the exercise was great for his mental health.
“It’s great that it’s opened up. Getting out isn’t easy but just to be able to got for a swim is wonderful,” he said.
The number of beachgoers could increase with temperatures forecast to rise to the high-20s later in the week.
Randwick mayor Danny Said said he visited Coogee and Maroubra beaches and found most people behaving appropriately and leaving the area once they had finished exercising.
“We’ve been very clear on what you can and can’t do at the beach and most people are understanding and respecting this,” he said.
“I’d like to commend everyone who exercised at our beaches today for doing so in the right spirit.”
Waverley mayor Paula Masselos said the council had no intention of reopening its beaches yet but was in discussions with Mr Hazzard’s office about providing safe access to the water for ocean swimmers and surfers.
“Any plan we do come up with must ensure that social distancing restrictions are observed,” she said.
“We continue to have a significant number of people visiting our area, and whilst this is the case,
we need to be more cautious about the approach we take on our beaches.”
Cr Masselos said the council area continued to be a hotspot for coronavirus, with around 180 cases.
She urged Waverley residents to stay at home where possible “and if you must exercise outdoors, then please follow the instructions of our lifeguards and rangers at all times”.
Mr Hazzard said on Friday that “it’s not time to jump forward” when asked about a proposal to reopen Bondi Beach for exercising.
“I think at the moment the focus still has to be on keeping people with a clear message, which is social distancing, and I think the government will obviously look at those measures in concert with the federal government as we move forward.”
North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club president Andrew Christopher, who supported the beach’s closure after sunbathers ignored health guidelines, said the council could trial reopening it briefly during the morning and evening for people to disperse along the sand and the water to keep fit.
Angus Thompson is an Urban Affairs reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.